Washington — Facing financial struggles, many Americans are considering making changes to their insurance policies, according to a new national survey of homeowners by the Washington-based Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America.

For the survey, respondents were asked if they had made or were considering making changes to their auto, home, life or health insurance policies. The study found that the country’s current economic situation was the most prominent factor for households that had either made changes or were considering making changes. Almost 24% of those surveyed, representing about 39 million homeowners, say they have made changes to their insurance coverage because of the troubled economy.

“In tough economic times, people look for ways to trim household expenses, but cutting back on insurance coverage may leave them open to even bigger financial hardship,” says Madelyn Flannagan, VP of education and research of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America. “It is particularly dangerous to make these decisions without the help of an agent, because, as this research shows, many consumers do not fully understand their coverage.”

The survey also asked homeowners if they believe they would be covered in the event that they temporarily rented their home. Mistakenly, 69% of respondents either didn’t think they were covered by their current policies in these situations or simply didn’t know. Homeowners were also asked if they thought their current policy would protect them if the home was vacant and a majority thought they were covered when in fact coverage is very limited.

Source: Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America

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